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Coping with anxiety

Children who are sick and in the hospital face new routines, unfamiliar surroundings, strange faces, limited family contact, and different food, smells and sounds. It can be a stressful time for the whole family.

Young children may cry, refuse to eat, suck their thumb, wet the bed, withdraw or reject the adults around them. They may appear restless, exhausted or depressed. It is important to discuss these symptoms with your child’s doctor.

Because play is a familiar activity for most children, it is used in the hospital to create a safe atmosphere and provide tools (toys and activities) to help young children:

  • Adjust to a strange environment
  • Meet and get to know other children
  • Express their feelings and concerns
  • Cope with illness, surgery, hospitalization and treatments
  • Make choices and retain a sense of control over what is happening to them
  • Relax
  • Work through their problems

Talk to your transplant team about programs or therapists that can help minimize emotional strain.

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